up in Beaumont, Texas, Tom enjoyed a rare experience for that time...
a marvelous music curriculum in the public schools. Supported by
the taxes from the Spindletop oil field, Beaumont's public schools
possessed the finest instruments and instruction available.
unique was the opportunity to study with a great trumpet teacher,
Everette James. Mr. James was the father of Harry James, leader
of one of the top big bands of that era and arguably the best trumpet
player of his generation. Harry, during the hey-day of the big
bands, was releasing new recordings weekly. These recordings provided
all the motivation Tom needed to practice and to become the best
player possible. He began playing professionally with local bands
when he was fourteen years-old.
Winner of several honors including
being selected Principal Trumpet in the All-State High School Orchestra,
Tom attended, and graduated from Sam Houston State University.
He directed bands in public schools of Texas for seven years prior
to pursuing higher graduate studies full time. He received the
Ph.D. from The University of Texas and embarked on a long career
in the administration of higher education. During his time at UT,
he studied composition with J. Clifton Williams and was an arranger
for The University of Texas Longhorn Band directed by Vincent R.
DiNino. Retiring after presiding over three community colleges
for twenty-seven years, Tom returned to his musical roots.
Tom resides in the beautiful Wimberley Valley of the Texas Hill
Country enjoying private teaching, composing, arranging, publishing
and performing in various ensembles and genres.